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Anniversary party and vow renewal

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poundcake:
My husband and I are throwing a big bash to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, and are going to renew our wedding vows as well. We aren't trying to "redo" anything or make up for something lacking or anything; we just want to celebrate the 10-year mark with those we love, thank them with a fun party, and reaffirm our commitments to each other.

We already know there are some basic etiquette no-nos with renewing vows, and aren't going to have anything too much like a wedding (attendants, registry, etc.). But I'm sure we're overlooking other etiquette pitfalls. So, Ehellions, what would you say are the ultimate Dos & Don'ts of a party like this?

Lisbeth:
Well, as you've pointed out, you don't want it to be too much like a wedding, so I'd say for the don'ts:

1) No "officiant" is necessary for this kind of occasion.
2) If you have any kind of ceremony, make sure that your speeches to each other do not read like actual wedding vows.  That is, I'd skip the "I, Husband, take thee, Wife" and "I do" phrasing.  Also, I personally think it would be more meaningful and personal if the speeches were improv rather than scripted.
3) Don't exchange rings (although I think you can give each other different tokens of the occasion if you want).
4) No "giving away."
5) Don't use traditional wedding music.
6) Don't have a cake that resembles a wedding cake.
7) Don't wear your wedding gown or anything that looks like one (but other than that, any color is fine if it works with the time of day, climate, etc.)
8) I personally wouldn't do a processional or recessional, but I'm not as firm on this one as the ones above.
9) Don't use formally worded invitations with "Bride's Parents request the pleasure of your company..."  I'd come up with a friendly first-person note instead.

For the dos:
1) Have enough refreshments, seating, and all the other considerations you would normally give guests.
2) Thank guests for coming (verbally) and for any gifts (note).
3) Have fun and don't let the planning get you too tense.

poundcake:
Is there a truly tactful way we can encourage "no gifts" and/or "if you'd like to donate to such-and-such charity" without putting it in the invites? We'd also like some sort of recognition of family members who are no longer with us, but aren't sure of the least-maudlin way to do it.

Jenzilla:
The standard way to discourage gifts is to simply invite people to a party without saying that it's an anniversary party or vow renewal. Past that, I suppose you could try to handle the same way people give out their registry information - tell anyone helping you with the party that you don't want gifts and have them pass that along to anyone who asks.

For recognition of family members, how about a toast? That could be very nice, and still in keeping with the rest of the party.

audrey1962:

--- Quote from: Jenzilla on May 08, 2007, 02:51:21 PM ---For recognition of family members, how about a toast? That could be very nice, and still in keeping with the rest of the party.

--- End quote ---

Another option is, if it customary for your group to have a blessing before the meal, you can include them in the prayer. However, if you don't typically have a blessing, I second the toast idea! In fact, my family usually does so at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc.

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